What to Do When You Have a Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can be an eyesore and a health hazard, so you want to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

Luckily, there are several methods you can use to unclog a drain without paying a fortune for professional help.

One of the most effective methods is to use a plunger. Another option is to pour boiling water down the drain.

1. Plunger

A plunger is one of the most important tools you can have on hand when dealing with a clogged drain. It is a simple and effective way to clear up a blockage in your drain and can be used on sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and showers.

To use a plunger, first make sure you have enough water to submerge the tool completely. Then, place the plunger over the drain opening to create a tight seal and push it down to make an air-tight suction.

The suction created by a plunger can help break up tough clogs. However, not all clogs can be easily removed with a plunger and there may need to be alternative methods used to clear the drain.

Plungers come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of drain they are designed to work with. For toilets, a flange plumber is the best option, while for sinks, bathtubs, and showers, a cup plunger is preferred.

In a bathroom sink or bath, you will want to block the overflow hole with an old rag before plunging. This will ensure that the plunger creates an air-tight seal, creating a strong suction that will help you to remove the clog.

A few other things to consider when using a plunger are how long you need to wait before plunging again, and what you should do when your drain isn’t working properly. Generally speaking, it’s recommended to wait about twenty seconds before plunging again.

Lastly, never apply too much force when using a plunger. This can damage the drain line and cause leaks. Also, avoid plunging obvious major obstructions, like a child’s toy truck that accidentally flushes down the toilet, or chicken bones that get dropped into a sink drain.

2. Boiling Water

One of the most common tools for dealing with a clogged drain is boiling water. This method is a little dangerous and requires some caution, but it can be effective at removing clogs. However, it should be avoided if there is any toxic metal, chemicals (lead, mercury, asbestos, pesticides, solvents), or nitrates in the water because boiling may concentrate these contaminants and make them more difficult to remove.

In addition, boiling water can soften and even melt the joints of plastic drain pipes. This can cause them to crack over time and become more difficult to unclog.

The boiling point of water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is best to use this temperature when dealing with a clogged pipe in your home. The heat of the water can also help to loosen up any grease buildup that is causing a clog in the first place, which will speed up the process and save you money down the road.

While you’re pouring boiling water down your drain, take a moment to check to see if the water has any bubbles in it. Some people believe that these are air bubbles, but they really are just water vapor escaping as the water boils.

Another great thing about boiling water is that it can also help to clear a clogged nose or sinuses. Try boiling a cup of water, then leaning over it to breathe in the steam. Be sure to protect your face by placing a towel over it, as the superheated steam can burn you.

If the clog does not seem to clear up after using boiling water, then it may be necessary to use a plunger and other techniques in order to properly unclog your drain. If you’re unsure of how to do this, it’s always best to call a professional plumber in Mesa.

3. Vinegar

If you are dealing with a small drain clog that does not require professional assistance, vinegar is an inexpensive, effective way to clear the blockage. It is not only safe to use, but can also be used as a natural cleaner that can help remove odors and prevent bacteria from growing in the drain line.

White or apple cider vinegar is a powerful cleaning agent that can break down grease and soap scum in drains. It can also help remove water stains on surfaces like wood furniture and countertops.

Vinegar can be made from any fruit, grain, or vegetable by fermenting them with yeast and bacteria. It is available in many different varieties, each with its own flavor and level of acetic acid.

The combination of baking soda and vinegar can help to break down the grime that is causing your drain to clog. It can also help to prevent clogs in the future by preventing build-up of grease and soap scum.

When mixing vinegar and baking soda, a chemical reaction happens that produces carbon dioxide. This makes the mixture bubbly and foamy, and it can be a very effective way to clear your drains.

However, this method can only work if you are able to plug the drain and let it sit for at least an hour. This is because the combination of baking soda and vinegar will not be able to work as effectively if it is not plugged.

If you are dealing with a large clog that does not respond to the vinegar and baking soda method, it is recommended that you call a professional to help you with your drains. They will have the proper equipment to clean the clog and get it out of your home.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an alkaline chemical that reacts with liquids to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. This action makes baked goods rise and give them a light, fluffy texture.

It’s important to use the proper amount of baking soda when baking. Too much will make a recipe heavy and leave behind a soapy, metallic taste.

When baking, you need to mix the soda with an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, lemon juice, yoghurt or cream of tartar. When this combination is combined, the sodium bicarbonate in the soda reacts with the acid to produce carbon dioxide.

This reaction makes the mixture rise, which gives cakes and cookies their light, fluffy texture. It also helps the dough stay tender when compared to something with a chewier texture such as bread.

In baking recipes, baking soda can be used as a single-acting or double-acting leavening agent, depending on the recipe. The single-acting type will activate with only the liquid (such as milk, water or yogurt), while the double-acting kind will create two separate reactions – the first one when mixed at room temperature, and the second when heated in the oven.

For the double-acting type, you will need to add an acidic ingredient before adding the baking soda, which is typically the dry component of cream of tartar. Once this mixture is combined with the baking soda, it will begin to act quickly.

This action will help break down the drain clog and flush it out. However, it’s also possible that the clog may remain in your pipes and you will need to repeat the process at least twice to clear the clog completely.

5. Drain Snake

A drain snake is one of the best tools you can use when dealing with a clogged drain. This tool will allow you to get further down into your clogged drain than a plunger can and is a great way to resolve stubborn blockages that aren’t responding to basic unclogging strategies like vinegar and baking soda.

To use a drain snake, you’ll need a few items such as rubber gloves and a bucket. Once you’ve got all the gear you’ll need, make sure to read the directions on the drain snake you’re using and follow them closely.

Start by threading the tip of the drain snake into your drain stub-out. Then, tighten the setscrew and rotate the cable clockwise to feed it down into the drain pipe.

Continue turning the drain snake until you encounter resistance or it reaches an obstruction. When it reaches a blockage, turn the handle in a clockwise direction until you can push the auger tip through the clog.

Once you’ve made it through the clog, repeat the process of rotating and feeding the wire until the snake no longer meets resistance or you run out of cable. When you’re finished, pull the drain snake out of the clogged drain and dispose of it properly.

If you’re not confident with your skill level or don’t have the right equipment to use a drain snake, it’s better to call a professional plumber. This will ensure you’re not damaging your pipes and plumbing system while trying to resolve the problem.

It’s also important to understand that a drain snake can be hazardous when used improperly. The tip of the snake is sharp and can cut you if you aren’t careful. Plus, if you are injured while using a drain snake, the resulting wound can become infected if it is exposed to unclean water.